Edition 1505
15 December 2018
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Belém brushes off any malaise with church over World Youth Day announcement

in Regional · 06-12-2018 09:40:00 · 0 Comments

Belém Palace, the Portuguese President’s official residence, has denied any discomfort between itself and the Catholic Church after it was prematurely announced that the 2022 World Youth Day would take place in Portugal.

Belém brushes off any malaise with church over World Youth Day announcement

The announcement should have been formally made by Pope Francis in the New Year, but it was revealed by religious site Religionline last weekend, on Saturday.
This led to some suspicion that a presidential source may have leaked the information, and a flurry of reports claiming the incident had caused “malaise” between the two institutions.
According to newspaper Jornal de Notícias, the early announcement of the Pope’s visit to Portugal to preside over the gathering made Catholic Church leaders “uncomfortable”, with some suspecting that the information leak had originated in the presidency.
Nevertheless, an official source in Belém dashed that version of events, adding that even President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa had been taken by surprised with the untimely announcement.
“This is a matter that lies exclusively within the sphere of the Catholic Church”, a Belém source was quoted as saying by newspaper Público.
The spokesman of the Portuguese Bishops’ Conference, Manuel Barbosa, also told Público that it is the “Pope who announces” the country that receives the conference.
He added, “of course we would all like him to come here. But we have to wait and see.”
World Youth Day (WYD) is an event for young Christians, celebrated in dioceses around the world on Palm Sunday, organised by the Catholic Church and initiated by Pope John Paul II in 1985.
The next World Youth Day 2019, will be held in Panama, from 22 to 27 January.
Prior to this weekend’s untimely announcement, newspaper Público had reported that Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa would be attending the event in Panama in January to bolster Portugal’s chances of securing the event following its candidacy, made in 2017.
Belém this week explained any possible trip by the President to Panama in January would “first have to be communicated to Parliament”.
However, according to other reports, the Patriarch of Lisbon is already working on preparations to organise the event.
The location has also reportedly already been chosen, and will allegedly be within Lisbon.
The other candidates to host World Youth Day 2022 were the Czech Republic and Sweden, with the event alternating between Europe and the Rest of the World.
Religionline states that an official announcement will be made in Panama at the next WYD, which the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, Manuel Clemente, and other Portuguese bishops will attend, to receive the passage of testimony of the Pope and the Bishop of Panama City.
The cardinal-patriarch of Lisbon officialised the request to host the WYD at the end of 2017, and since 2012, in several meetings of the Pontifical Council for the Laity (CPL) of the Vatican, the possibility of it coming to Portugal has been discussed.
The previous editions of World Youth Day were held in Cologne, Germany, 2005, Sydney, Australia, 2008,
and Madrid, in, 2011, with
Pope Benedict XVI in Rio de Janeiro in 2013 and Krakow in Poland, in 2016, with the current pontiff.

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Edition 1505
15 December 2018
Edition: 1505

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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